Saturday, 7 December 2013

Living history

I don't have a very 'glamorous' family history in terms of buccaneering, rebelling, inventing, Great Trekkers and the like, just a couple of mainly Dutchmen  who got on the ship to Kaap de Goede Hoop, and French Hugenot, with sprinkles of German, Scotch, Malay and who knows what else thrown in.

But sometimes, out of the blue, you learn of an interesting thing that happened years and years my grandfather's brother who one day, left the house, never to return.  
They never heard of him again.  
I found that set of great-grandparents in a national family register, with one named son (not the walker), and "other children", but not those we know.

What happened there?

Ek het nie 'n vreeslik glorieryke familiegeskiedenis nie; nie seerowers, rebelle, uitvinders, Groot trekkers en so aan nie, meestal 'n paar Nederlanders wat per skip aan die Kaap de Goede Hoop geland het, 'n Hugenoot, spatsels Duits, Skots en Maleis, en wie weet wat nog. 

Maar soms, soms, hoor jy van iets interessants uit die verlede...soos my oupa se broer want net eendag weggeloop het, wég, en hul het nooit weer van hom gehoor nie.  
Wat het van hom geword?  Waarom het hy weggeloop?  
Ek het daardie grootjies wel in die nasionale familieregister gevind, met een genoemde seun (wat nie die wegloper was nie), en "kinders", maar nie dié wie se name ons ken nie.

Wat het daar gebeur?


Then there was my other great grandfather who was a prisoner of war on the island of St Helena. 
He was 17 years old when he was captured near Ladybrand during the Anglo Boer War.  Luckily he survived and fathered my paternal grandmother.

Dan was daar my ander oupagrootjie wat krygsgevangene was op St Helena-eiland.  
Hy was maar 17 toe hy gevange geneem is naby Ladybrand tydens die Anglo-Boereoorlog.  Gelukkig het hy oorleef, my pa se oupa. 

Spot the French descendant


My grandmother recently told me about the three Italian prisoners of war that stayed on their farm during WW2.

I knew there were lots of Italian prisoners in South Africa, but associated them with areas in what is now Gauteng, Limpopo, the Boland; not Laingsburg in the Great Karoo.
Typically these prisoners were placed at farms where they would work as general labourers or builders, and assisted in bridge and road building.  

My ouma vertel my onlangs van die drie Italiaanse krygsgevangenes wat tydens die tweede Wêreldoorlog na hul plaas uitgeplaas is.

Ek het geweet van die Italiaanse gevangenes in Suid-Afrika, maar het hul meer assosieer met areas in (tans) Gauteng, Limpopo, die Boland; nie Laingsburg in die Groot Karoo nie.
Hierdie gevangenes is tipies na plase gestuur waar hul as arbeiders/bouers moes werk, of het meegewerk as brug/padbouers.

And then she showed me this ring.  
En toe wys sy my hierdie ring.

There were two; one each with her and my grandfather's initials, made of an aluminium pipe.  Inside it is engraved with date and initials of one Fernandro, who formed a close bond with them.  My grandfather's ring was lost through the years, my grandmother gave this one to me.

Daar was twee; een elk met haar en my oupa se voorletters gegraveer, gemaak van 'n aluminiumpyp.  Aan die binnekant is die datum en voorletters van ene Fernandro gegraveer, met wie hul bevriend geraak het.  My oupa se ring is verlore, hierdie een het my ouma nou aan my gegee.  

I would love to try and track Fernandro's history through the Prisoner of War Museum.  
Project for next year.

Ek sal graag Fernandro se geskiedenis probeer naspoor deur die Krygsgevangenemuseum.  
Projek vir volgende jaar.  

Today, seventy years ago, she received this.
Vandag, 70 jaar gelede, het sy hierdie ring ontvang.


I still wanted to write a post about the yoga bag that was eventually finished (oh yeay!), the basket that I lined - a looong time ago, crochet @ my favourite Pure Café...but then I thought, nah.  It's holiday.
Last year we were so lucky to be off to snow in Tirol, this year it's back to beach on the Garden Route, equally great.

Have a happy, blessed Christmas! 
Until 2014 :-)

Ek wou nog 'n post skryf oor die joga-sak wat uitéindelik klaar is, die mandjie wat ek gevoer het - laaaank terug al, hekel by my gunsteling Pure Café...maar toe dag ek , nee.  Dis vakansie.
Verlede jaar was ons so gelukkig om in die sneeu te gaan speel in Tirol, hierdie jaar is dit terug na die strand aan die Tuinroete, beide ewe lekker.

Dus: lekker vakansie, geseënde Kersfees!
Tot 2014 :-)


homemade@myplace said...

we have to wait one more week for our Christmas holidays!!!!
see you soon,
xxxxx Ale

greenthumb said...

I love finding out all about our family history also. We are on the Christmas count down here.

Annette - MyRoseValley said...

What a great story...I am curious to find out more... I would love to do some family tree research. i think my dad and older brother are doing some together actually. My family tree is more of spread out forest of different trees... Trees we don't know and trees we do know. I remember in 2nd grade being 8 going on 9 and the assignment was to draw my family tree. I had hardly started when I realized my tree would never fit on that piece of paper... It was a sad moment for me and the feeling of being different with such a split and spread out family that I don't even know has followed me ever since. This was in the mid 70's and divorce was not that common yet. I was one of 2 in my class... But my grand parents, uncles and aunts had all divorced. Naturally I have grown up with a mission to never get divorced, be open and not keep secrets from dear ones, not hide or be ashamed of family members... So far so good. Living abroad with a foreign man and multi national children is like a new start for my family tree. MY family tree. I hope it stays thick and luscious with many branches. Only time will tell.
Oh and the reason I am here right now was actually to thank you with a big hug for the darling gift you sent. THANK YOU Stel. You rock my world being so kind. Now I just have to come up with a great project... Maybe a cowl... Or a shawl... I love the colors. Kram!

Annette - MyRoseValley said...

Happy Christmas and have a sweet holiday. Totally forgot that part. I am like a headless chicken running around bouncing into the fence and the hen den constantly. Family arrives on Thursday and I am far from ready. Bring it on anyway. Who cares. Lets drink some glögg and sing a Christmas carol. Eat some food and just hang out. See you in 2014.

Stel said...

Aah, it's a pleasure, Annette; glad you like it. Your blog is one of my faves, so it's also a tiny thank you for the joy we get from you :-)

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